Xiaomi enters the UK and is immediately caught up in a sales scandal
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Xiaomi grew over 2018 to become the fourth-largest smartphone OEM in the world. The Chinese company’s biggest sphere of influence is undoubtedly in Asia, with the company being a top two vendor in China and India, the two biggest smartphone markets on the globe. The company doesn’t plan on resting on its laurels, though, as it opened up shop officially in the UK.
A while after the event, the company organized a flash sale as part of a “crazy deals” promotion. Hopeful buyers amassed at the website, perhaps with the hope of snagging a unit of the smartphones Xiaomi was offering at a giveaway 1 GBP price point. As soon as the countdown timer hit zero, though, the website displayed an “Out of stock” message.
Further investigation showed that Xiaomi only had two or three units available on sale at the aforementioned price, which probably wasn’t what hopeful customers were expecting, especially since similar promotions by the company have had up to fifty units available.
Making the pill even harder to swallow was the revelation that the website was designed to display the “Out of stock” message as soon as the timer went down, irrespective of whether the units on sale were actually sold out.
Xiaomi’s UK salespersons have since clarified that this was how the system was designed and that winners were picked randomly from those that clicked immediately the timer counted down to zero. The company, in a tweet yesterday, also issued an official statement which can be found at the bottom of the page.
Xiaomi kicks off sales in the UK with the Mi 8 Pro, Mi 8, Redmi 6A, and a host of other Mi-branded consumer electronics. The Mi 8 Pro is the biggest item on the list—the flagship was only just released in China a few weeks ago. It features a 6.21-inch FHD+ AMOLED display, a Snapdragon 845, 8 GB of RAM, 128 GB of storage, a 3000 mAh battery, Quick Charge 4+ support, dual rear cameras, and an in-display fingerprint reader. It will retail with a price tag of £499.99 and will be available on outlets like Amazon, Carphone Warehouse, Currys PC World, and Argos.